This piece is first and foremost about playing, experimenting, feeling, and being spontaneous. I allowed myself freedom from a strict and structured process, plan, and forethought. I allowed myself to play. I knew I wanted to work with tree bark. It is something I find immensely interesting and beautiful, intricate yet graceful. The piece started in total submersion amongst the trees. I went to Skidaway State Park, a place of personal intense inspiration and wonder. I worked in the elements to create a version of my experiences of these wonderful entities. Along the journey the piece started to grow meaning and a concept.
First, it is about the tree being more than just a hunk of wood. It's a study of the tree and my experiences of it; my translation. It is about the tree being a live, growing, and breathing entity. It eats, digests, and changes. One could say that it's just as alive as we are. My main focus is the skin of the tree; it manifests and protects the tree. I'm interested in its various textures, formations, and the intense stacking. It's as though the tree's "skin cells" continue to grow, but the dead ones stay attached, making the layer of bark continuously thicker. I'm also interested in the absence of bark. With the absence of bark the tree is paler, less coarse, and more vulnerable; much like a mammal with the absence of skin. But what really fascinates me is the tree's wrinkles! The smooth bark bunches together as if it's moving to make room for a new growth or a change in direction.
This piece is also a comment on color perception. Through the study and experience of these trees I realized how much more vivid the world could be if there was an elimination of describing colors as blacks, browns, and grays; the world around the viewer will become much more alive and enthralling. There is color all around us; I believe it is present even in the darkest of blacks and dullest of browns. I think that learning to see the color will make a walk down the street much more magical. I came to both of these theories through playful process and exploration.